Why we should be proud to work in the advertising industry

February 19, 2024

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Katty Roberfroid – Director General, egta

2024 marks 50 years of egta. While we celebrate television and radio’s resilience and embrace the future of multi-platform TV and audio, it is perhaps also the perfect moment to press pause and take stock, and remind ourselves of why we are in the advertising business. Advertising plays such a crucial and multi-faceted role in our society, and we have every reason to be proud to work in this vibrant and dynamic industry.

The engine behind quality content

Some are quick to forget that advertising fuels the high-quality – often free – content that audiences love. Advertising drives the revenue that makes the production, acquisition, and distribution of a wide range of TV and radio content possible: from live entertainment, reality shows, and sports, to trustworthy journalism, local programming, great films, and documentaries.

But advertising doesn’t just fuel great content – it pays for all of the day-to-day operations that make TV and radio channels thrive: state-of-the-art studios, cutting-edge equipment, emerging talent, skilled technical staff, marketing professionals, and so much more.

Driving innovation

Today’s content offer is unprecedented, both in diversity and sheer volume. The integration of advertising across so many platforms, whether streamed or broadcast, linear or on-demand, video, audio, or social, means that sales houses now can create powerful cross-platform synergies.

Advances in data analytics, programmatic sales, interactive ad formats, and more, mean that we can now adapt to changing audience behaviours, preferences, and demographics, and offer more personalized, relevant, and effective advertising experiences. We are already seeing new technologies, such as AI, allow for even better UX and contextuality, creating a much more symbiotic relationship between content and advertising. With even more innovation yet to come – there is a reason to be excited about advertising!

Connecting consumers and driving growth

Most people do not actually dislike ads. On the contrary, people love enjoyable ad experiences that have creative expression and compelling storytelling at their heart! Advertising connects consumers with products and services, allowing them to make informed choices that align with their preferences, needs, and values. Companies are encouraged to differentiate themselves and continuously improve their products and services to attract consumers in an often crowded marketplace, creating a virtuous cycle.

This connection between advertisers and consumers drives economic activity, and the revenues generated in turn create jobs, grow industries, and nurture talent. Advertising plays a significant role in supporting and driving innovation across so many industries, supporting small and medium-sized companies, fostering creativity, technological advances, and market dynamics. These innovations often go beyond advertising, influencing various industries, triggering cross-industry collaborations, and supporting creative startups and new businesses.

Nurturing democratic values and shaping culture

Advertising goes far beyond empowering consumers – it helps fund media pluralism and independence, contributing a great deal to our democracies as a whole. Political ads not only boost political awareness and engagement but more generally, advertising contributes to disseminating information through quality journalism.

It is fair to say that advertising sits at the heart of culture and contributes greatly to our societies by fulfilling broader social and cultural functions, reflecting and shaping our cultural values, norms, and trends, particularly when attributed to well-suited quality content.

Let’s set ourselves up for the future

As we look back at the last half-century of progress, during which each new technology was going to kill the last, let’s remind ourselves of how much advertising has contributed to TV and radio’s evolution, profound transformation, and impressive resilience.

Today, let’s look to the next 50 years and renew our faith in our advertising media as we set multiscreen TV and audio up for the decades to come. Let’s embrace the pace of change at which our industry is transforming and seize the new opportunities that lie before us.